A good entry level 5.10 because of a short well protected crux. The climbing to the overhang has a few well placed bolts earily on followed by good gear. Because you can clip a bolt on the lip of the overhang and climb back down and compose yourself, it does not seem as serious as it might seem otherwise. The rest of the pitch is quite good. P2 is long and fun with options to make it easier or harder. P3 is an interesting traverse. A bolt along the way provides a a little reassurance. I think the regular belay is down low, a better stance. I traversed high to an akward stance, but much better for the second. The last pitch goes up slippery, akward climbing until you get to the great finishing open book which is quite fun. The rap from the top takes some thought. Lot's of snag potential. If you are a seasoned RR climber you can easily make the proper adjustments. I descended to a ledge and pulled the knot down pass the snags.
We did all four pitches, and really enjoyed the fourth pitch. The only reason you would regret doing the 3rd & 4th pitches is if you get your rope stuck coming down ... but I thought it was at least as easy to clear the ropes as on Crimson Chrysalis, and much easier to clear than Geronimo!
We belayed about 10-15 ft above the bolts at the end of p3. The stance is about as good, and the second is better protected on the traverse. I thought the gear on the traverse was good, certainly PG and not R. You don't have to have a nervy second to do this one.
THis Route is very good and mostly 5.8. Still it is steep and sustained and great first 5.10 multipitch route as the terrain is alwayse exciting and the rock fantastic the .10 move well protected and not very hard. The nine pitch is nice too. Near by is another great 5.10 free route called the Next Century which is a step up in boldness from Y2K. Pine nuts is also terrific, and there are some other Herbst routes on the Eface of Mescalito near the yellow Spur and Right that scared me off of them. Chasing Shadows to Edge Dressing also sounds good.
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